Thursday, December 20, 2012

Our Greatest Asset

A little doodle I did at lunch today while still processing the events in CT. Odd that we would never trust our money in a building without armed security, cameras, and secure locks, yet we would send our children daily into buildings with none of those things without a moment's hesitation. We are told constantly that children are our most valuable asset, but it seems to me that that which is truly most valuable is evident by the lengths to which you'll go to protect it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I Wasn't Lost, But Evidently I Was Found

Quite an honor!  I was contacted by one of the writers at asking if they could feature my Paul Ryan caricature from several months ago on their site.  They were super friendly and although I'm quite sure we come from different ends of the political spectrum, they were really nice to me and I am really excited about the opportunity.  

Thanks to the folks at Salon!  
God bless,

-Bret <><

Friday, June 22, 2012

Go local sports team, GO!

Not jumping on the bandwagon by any means, but it's nice to see a Florida team do well this year after a couple disappointing post-seasons from the Lightning and Rays.  Plus, LeBron's face was REALLY fun to draw :)

God bless!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Eyes Have It

Former House Speaker Nancy staring through my skull.  I never had an irrational fear of clowns before, but I think I have a perfectly rational fear of them now.  That's a LOT of makeup, friends.

Ok, in all seriousness, this was actually pretty fun.  Older folks are always fun to draw and for some reason, old politicians are even more fun.  I think it's because you can't separate their personalities from their looks.  Being in the public EYE...yikes, I did it again...stop staring...anyway, being in the public VIEW, I imagine that the more extreme the personality, the more it manifests itself outwardly in their appearance.  

In complete fairness, Ms. Pelosi is not an unattractive person.  But, as my Mom always said "beauty is as beauty does".  And if what you do defines your beauty, then I think I'm justified in saying that Ms. Pelosi has looks that could kill.  

Now stop staring at me...

Monday, April 30, 2012

It's Still April!

Whew...just squeaking this one under the wire today.  Trying very hard not to neglect those of you that follow, peruse, or otherwise enjoy the blog. 

Well, it looks like I'll get at least one post in before April ends, so I thought I'd post some weekend doodles from a caricature class featuring Jason Seiller (yes, THE Jason Seiller).  Working through the material slowly, but steadily.  Week one has you draw a handful of sketches of "citizens" (non-celebrities) and this is the first of three for me.  Technically his sketches use a lot off cross-hatching and look more like pencil drawings, but honestly, I'm so used to working this way that it's just become more comfortable for me to do sketches in Photoshop with a more "rendered" look.  It's just easier for me to fill in the big areas with a bigger brush than to hatch them out, though if you look closely, there's still a good bit of hatching, even when using this modified "painting" technique.  

Hope you guys enjoy!  May-be (get it...May) we'll have more work to post next month, but things are pretty busy at work, so I can't guarantee anything.  It's good to be busy though, so I can't complain!

God bless, everyone!

-Bret <><

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Gold Standard

What's there to say about President Reagan?  I was far too young during his administration to have remembered much, but I have learned a great deal about the man's character, strength, and leadership in the years since.  

One of the things I think I admire most was his ability to write and speak so convincingly about his convictions.  He was winsome and warm, yet principled and steady.  So many of our current politicians may convey one of those qualities, some perhaps two.  But no one since has embodied the qualities of Reagan in total, making him one of the rarest of historical figures - a man admired from both sides.

Here's to the gold standard of leadership...a humble attempt at capturing that charming smile in a fun, cartoony style.  

Enjoy, everyone, and God bless!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Grant Goalie-Land

Man, I love original artwork.
Man, I love looking at me.

Man, I love original artwork of me that I can look at.

My good ol' buddy from art school Grant Gilliland drew this cartoon-tastic drawing of yours truly as part of his "20 Dollar Drawings" offering on his website (linked above).  I've always wanted one of his originals and now I have one!  Thanks, Grant!  

Check out his site and for heaven's sake, BUY A DRAWING!  It's only $20!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Head and Shoulders, Nose and Gums

And in glorious RGB color...the final (ish) sketch of my new self portrait.  It's not perfect, but I really like where this is going.  Jon Pinto encouraged me to try using my black and white sketch underneath the color version and glaze on top like the old masters did.  Adapting any traditional technique to digital is always a bit of a challenge, but I am so incredibly pleased with some of the interesting marks and the process of pushing and pulling the color back and forth that I really think this is a technique that bears further exploration. 

I especially love all the sketchy and wandering discovery lines throughout the piece.  It's as if once you go into digital painting, particularly when you begin doing character airbrushing, you lose all of the discipline and excitement of "mark-making".  Drew Struzan is my hero in this regard.  His final pieces, as refined as they are, make excellent use of his skills as a draftsman.  Even as he layers airbrushed color, acrylic paint, and colored pencil, you never fully lose the gorgeous pencil marks that make up his underpainting.  

Let's see where this goes!  Hope you enjoy the ride too!
Thanks for reading, God bless!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Not Dispicable, But It Is Me...

Here's a quick black and white sketch / study for a self-portrait caricature.  Color version coming soon!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Say Broccoli!

This one was actually a lot of fun to draw.  Mrs. O has got one of the most unique facial structures I've drawn in a long time.  It was a challenge and a pleasure to draw.  Toughest part to capture?  That expression that looks like she just smelled a poot and is trying not to laugh.  And don't even act like you don't know what I'm talking about.  

The Mac Daddy

Thought I'd take a break from politics today and do a quick doodle of Mr. J.  He's an interesting guy with an interesting story.  I'm sure they'll make a "Social Network" style movie about him some day.  

After his death, it was disappointing for some who were so aware of his commercial success to find out about his personal shortcomings.  It's a reminder that not all great men are good and that not all good men are great.  A question of priorities faces us all as men regarding how we will spend our short time on earth and how we will at the end define our greatness.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One of those days...

This was a lot of fun!  I've been trying very hard to get my speed up lately and wanted to see just how fast I could do a simple character illustration from a blank page to final.  So, I sat down this evening and finished this 2 hours later.  It's certainly not perfect, but it was a huge confidence builder to be able to start and finish something under such a crunch.  

Hope you all enjoy it! 

Monday, January 16, 2012


I didn't have today off, but I did take a few minutes over lunch to do a quick sketch of Dr. King.  It was an interesting challenge to start drawing a more diverse range of faces.

As I've been working though my class on on ZBrush, I've learned an incredible amount about the face and its structure.  Michael Defeo, the instructor, has been outstanding so far.  Just in the first week, I've learned so much about the face that this sketch took shape at least 50% faster than it would have prior to the class.  Wow.  It's nice to have a little "growth spurt" every once in a while.

Hope you all enjoy the drawing!
Until next time, God bless!